By Patrice Aubry. Kindergarten Worksheet. Published at Saturday, October 12th, 2019 - 08:37:20 AM.
“Worksheets typically have a ‘right answer.’ a child is expected to circle the rhyming words or match the pictures of things that start with the letter ‘G.’ children may learn quickly that putting down a wrong answer is emotionally costly. Worksheet activities may make them feel ignorant and incompetent, so that they learn to stop taking risks by guessing.” Dr. Sue Grossman
What is a Worksheet? A worksheet is paper and pencil. There are no other materials used in conjunction with the worksheet. These include handwriting practice sheets and coloring pages. Sometimes parents like to pull out manipulative for math worksheets to help the child “build” the answer. I still count these as worksheets. You really only need the manipulative anyway, and the child will get far more out of the lesson if he writes his own equations rather than writing an answer down on a worksheet. A worksheet is not a printable that is used to enhance a hands on activity. Do you see the difference here? When we use a hands on material like unifix cubes to help solve problems on a worksheets, it’s not okay. But if the worksheet (or printable) is used to enhance the activity such as counting mats, it’s okay. The worksheet should be an afterthought, not the reason for the manipulative. With that in mind, lets talk about why worksheets should not be in the early childhood setting.
Worksheets Do Not Provide Real, Meaningful Experiences. I go into a lot of detail about meaningful experiences in this post. Basically, a child needs to have a reason for learning the concept. Completing a worksheet is not a good enough reason for a child. Providing activities that connect to real life gives children a reason to learn it. If you present a worksheet to a child and say “Read this so you can answer these questions.” Are they going to be motivated? Most likely not! But if a child is trying to learn how to build a sturdy fort, but must read the directions to learn how to do so, then that gives them a reason to learn.
Below are some common misconceptions about the use of worksheets in the classroom. FALSE. Children do not always know what is best for them, just because they like something is not an indication that it is good for them. How many times have your students come to school dressed inappropriately for the weather or chosen to eat candy for lunch rather than the sandwich their mother packed for them? Because children do not know what is best for them, that is why we, as educators, must purposefully prepare appropriate materials and activities for our students instead of just copying off another worksheet, that is a cop-out in my opinion. As trained professionals in the field of education it is our duty to teach our students to the best of our ability and keep their best interests in mind while doing so. If we do not do that then we are cheapening the profession and adding to the already tarnished image teachers hold in this country.
Worksheets Do Not Allow for Higher Level Thinking. Again, worksheets are there for spitting out information. Where is the thinking in that? Hands on manipulation of objects, gives children the opportunity to create hypothesis, test them out, and use their problem solving and critical thinking skills to completely understand how it works. Worksheets May Be “Teaching” What a Child is Not Ready For or Interested In. This is more towards workbooks, especially if you follow the workbook page by page. Just because the workbook says it’s for 3 year olds, does not mean your child is ready for it.
Why I occasionally* pull out a worksheet. *By occasionally, I mean less than once a month with my preschoolers at home. In the classroom, when I taught first grade and above, we used a couple of worksheets each day — but if I didn’t need sleep, I would have replaced even those with more thoughtful Sometimes, a worksheet is all that will do. When my kids have created letters in a variety of hands-on ways, it’s time to practice writing them. You need a handwriting worksheet for that. When kids have explored math concepts in hands-on ways, a worksheet may be helpful for additional practice.activities.
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